When God Tests our Faith

Does God sometimes test our faith by letting hard times to happen? 

This is the first time I will share about my health in public. It's so difficult to me to accept what happened before but I know that God has a better plan for me, for us.

It all started last January this year. I experienced heavy bleeding which is unusual for me. Di ako ganon kalakas mag bleed pag may period, I though pagod lang ako because of holidays and birthdays na halos sabay sabay. But to my surprised, I got my period again after 2 weeks which is so strange for me. Sino bang nagkaka period in the span of 2 weeks db, so what I did was I went to my OB for check-up and she requested for tranvaginal ultrasound. I had my ultasound on February 4 and I was alarmed as my OB doctor told me I have Retroverted uterus with Myoma (FIGO 3) meaning the location of my myoma is 100% intramural but contacts endometrium. The size of my Myoma is 44.3x40.0x36.8mm posterior intramural. Good thing I have normal ovaries and I ovulate on my left.

I have no idea about Myoma, basta alam ko lang is I experienced Dysmenorrhea or menstrual cramps which I never had before. I cried literally. Pano ako nagkaroon ng Myoma? San ko nakuha yun? Anong dapat gawin? Those are the questions that I need immediate answers. I was down, gulong gulo ako. As I visited her clinic, she advise me to wait for another 6 months to check if the fibroids is improving or not. She did not give any medications as I’m totally doing fine. 

To give you idea about Fibroids, I’m done with my research and found out that almost 70-80% of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime. Here are some information about F*cking Fibroids.

What are uterine fibroids?

Fibroids are benign tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70-80% of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime—however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment. The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they are not cancer, and they do not have the potential to become cancer. Because of that, it is reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment. Studies show us that fibroids grow at different rates, even in the same woman, and can range from the size of a pea to the size of a watermelon. (https://www.uclahealth.org/fibroids/what-are-fibroids)

What causes uterine fibroid tumors?

The cause of uterine fibroids is not known, although studies demonstrate there may be a genetic component. There is no food or external exposure that a woman can have that can cause her to develop fibroids.

What are the symptoms of uterine fibroids?

Most women with fibroids will experience no symptoms at all. However, for many women large or numerous fibroids can cause the following symptoms: 

•    Heavy or prolonged periods
•    Bleeding between periods
•    Pelvic pain and pressure
•    Frequent urination
•    Low back pain
•    Pain during intercourse

Sad to say, I experienced lahat kaya alam kong may something wrong sa body ko. A piece of advise lang to all my readers, listen to your body very well lalo na kung symptomatic ka, if you think there’s something wrong pa check up agad kayo. 

Fast forward, last July 12 my officemates brought me at ER in Makati Medical Center as I suffer nausea and dizziness after lunch. That time, I just got my first day of period and its heavy. Napansin lang ako ng 1 sa mga boss ko na I look pale and tired, by that time I’m going to the comfort room and hilong hilo na ko, Thank God one of my officemates assist me and hold me tight kasi feeling ko matutumba na ko. She immediately helped me reach our company nurse, take necessary actions and informed my superiors that I need to rush at MMC. Good thing, my office is just a few blocks away from the hospital, so after 10 minutes we safely arrived at the ER. My BP is now 80/50 and the nurses in the ER place me in the Critical room as I need to check immediately. 

They informed me that I need to get CBC and full abdomen CT-scan to know about my abdominal cramps even though I told them I have myoma and Dysmenorrhea, still they proceed with the CT-scan. After almost 2 hours of waiting, I got the result and it shows that I have lower Hemoglobin count, guess what its 7.30 and the normal is 12.3 – 15.3. O db halos magkalahati nalang yung blood ko due to heavy bleeding. The Physician at ER referred to my OB doctor about my situation and ordered for blood transfusion! Yes! Need daw akong Salinan ng dugo! What?! At that very moment, isa lang nasa isip ko, gusto ko ng umuwi ang makasama ang mga anak ko. But I have no choice, I need to undergo blood transfusion (3 bags) to normalize my blood circulation. They also perform another Tranvi ultrasound to check the size and location of my Myoma. Sad to say, the size grows and now classified as FIGO 2 Submucosal, & 50% intramural, in layman’s terms half ng myoma ko nasa loob ng uterus and half nasa “meat” ng uterus. ☹
I got the discharge order after 3 days in the hospital. That was a horrible experience for me so far as I’ve never been in the hospital except during my delivery with my two kids. Ang hirap pala and totoo, feeling ko mas magkakasakit ako pag nagtagal pa ko sa hospital. Thank God, my hemoglobin count increase to 9.20. Pwede na daw, but still I need to drink vitamins rich in Iron and of course to take necessary actions about my situation. 

After 1 week, we went back to my doctor to consult about my situation. She explained to me my two options, either I will take the GnRH or Hysterectomy. What is the difference between the two options and what will be the effects on me? These are the questions that we want a concrete answer.
GnRH or Gonadotropin-releasing hormone hormone is a medicine that puts your body into a state like menopause for as long as you take it but maximum of 6 months to use. This therapy may be a good choice if you are close to menopause (the time when fibroids shrink), have heavy bleeding from fibroids or you are planning to have surgery. This is not 100% guarantee that my fibroids will shrink, kasi after 6 cycles mag bleed parin ako. Hysterectomy on the other hand is a surgical operation to remove the uterus where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant. In short, pag eto pinili ko wala na kong chance mag baby boy. Huhu.

Giving only two options, super nadepress ako. I need to decide immediately as I experienced excessive bleeding due to myoma. Hindi sya madali for me, I need to think the pros and cons of each procedures. Sa isip ko, ayokong magpaopera! Ayokong dumaan ulit sa major operation at lalong ayoko pang matangalan ng matres!!! I want to have another child! I want to have baby boy! I know I was born to have three kids!  I thank God for giving me very supportive husband, family and closest friends as they advise me to take second opinion. Baka may iba pang way to remove my Myoma na di need ng major surgery. I consult 6 OB Doctors from St. Luke’s Global and Makati Medical Center and all of them have the same advice, either GnRH or Hysterectomy. Oh by the way, there is one doctor that told me she can remove only the Myoma via Myomectomy still open surgery then she will cut small hole in my uterus to scrap the almost 50mm myoma, meaning I can still save my uterus. Nakahinga ako ng maluwag because I know there are other way to remove it, though major surgery sya still my uterus remains intact. 

I went back to my OB and asks her if she can do the Myomectomy. Gusto ko kasi sa kanya ipagawa since she already knows my history, OB ko na sya since dalaga ako kaya kampante ako sa kanya. Unfortunately, that procedure cannot be done to my case especially if we want to have another baby. Why? Pag nag cut sya ng small opening on my uterus then nirepair nya, once na nagbuntis ulit ako, malaki ang chance na maging magka “Uterine Rupture” ako. 

“Uterine rupture is spontaneous tearing of the uterus that may result in the fetus being expelled into the peritoneal cavity. Uterine rupture is rare. It can occur during late pregnancy or active labor. Uterine rupture occurs most often along healed scar lines in women who have had prior cesarean deliveries.” (source: https://www.msdmanuals.com)

It can actually kill me and my baby if that happens and we don’t want to risk our lives. This is another test that we need to face together, para bang nabuhayan na kami nung una then all of a sudden, di pala pwede sa akin. You know how if feels? Nakaka depress! There are times that I cry inside our car pauwi, I keep on asking Ian “Why me?” I want to have another child, I want to have a big family. But now, what?! I’m sad, totally sad. I got anxiety attack again (I had this feeling before we got married). I keep on praying that God show us strength to face this kind of trials and we ask for his guidance for any decisions that we need to choose. 

Fast forward, last September 11, I decided to go to my OB clinic in Makati Med for check-up (This is supposedly schedule on September 14) however, when I got the result of my CBC, it shows that I have low Hemoglobin count again. WTF?! I only have 7.50 and again, the normal is 12.3 – 15.3. I immediately went in the Emergency room as I experience dizziness, I showed the result and immediately request for blood transfusion, meaning I need to stay in the hospital for another day. This time, my husband and I decided the other option of my OB – to put Mirena IUD to stop the bleeding. Mirena IUD is not covered with health card so we need to shell out Php 30k for the device and for the doctors PF. Ang bigat sa bulsa besh! Blood transfusion again, this time 2 bags only.

Upon discharge, we are all hoping and praying that the IUD will help me to stop the bleeding and to make the fibroids small, but honestly during the time the IUD is with me I can’t explain what I really feel. I search for the side effects of the device and found out the pros and cons of it. Lahat yun napagdaanan ko and I even asked myself and my husband, “Tama ba decision natin?”, “Mag wowork kaya to sa akin?”. I have so many questions in my mind not knowing that my anxiety attacks me again. Promise, I think that’s the worst decision we ever made. Why? Ang dami kong nararamdaman na hindi naman dapat. Headache, mood swing, dizziness, anxiety, mild cramps but most of all, I’m still bleeding! Yes! I thought having Mirena, the bleeding will stop, but it continues and worst part mas lalong lumakas. Huhu. 

October 26, Ian and I went in the market for our weekly grocery when I felt faintness. I even asked Ian that I need to sit down because nahihilo talaga ako ang nagdidilim paningin ko. Good thing, one of the vendors share his chair and let me sit for a while. Unfortunately, muntik na kong mahimatay sa hilo and nanlalamig na talaga ako. The people around the area panicked as I really look pale. My husband keeps on talking to me para di ako makatulog or something until one good Samaritan gave me “Katinko”. I feel relieved but still I experience mild dizziness. When we got home, we decided to visit my OB to check if my IUD is in place. Good thing, the Mirena is still intact. 

Fast Forward, I’m not feeling well last November 5 so I decided not to go to work and visit my OB about my continuous bleeding. We ate breakfast and I lie down on our bed when suddenly I felt that there are lots of blood flowing on my legs. I immediately went to the comfort room when my bleeding continues. Grabe! Nakakatakot, kung baga pag buntis ka at malapit ka ng manganak, yung panubigan mo pumutok na. So instead of water, blood ang lumalabas sa akin! Promise, super natakot ako to the point na I yell and called my husband to accompany me at the Emergency Room.

When we arrived, the nurses immediately assist me as I told them that my bleeding continuous. They brought me in Critical room where they put me IV and dextrose. They even put me oxygen to support my breathing. The resident doctor order for CBC and urine test, even though I told them that I’m not pregnant its SOP in the hospital to undergo Pregnancy test. They rely my situation to my OB and order for immediate transfer from ER to DR for close monitoring, Dr. Bustos also instructs the resident doctor for 3 bags of blood transfusion. At Delivery Room, they conduct Internal Examination (IE) to check the status of my uterus, but sad to say during the procedure, ang daming dugong lumabas on my private area, I clearly look at the doctor and she’s worried about my situation. The IUD already flush out as the blood continuous to flow so they decided to put Tranexamic Acid via IV to stop the bleeding. Grabe, natakot ako. I keep on praying, mind over matter narin ang ginawa ko. I remember every single detail ng mga ginawa nila sa akin because I want to stay awake, I want to know kung anong mga next procedure na gagawin sa akin. 

After assessment, I need to undergo blood transfusion then Transvi ultrasound the following day and my OB decided to refer me to other OB doctor for the new procedure that I will take. This time, tinapat na ko ng OB ko as we need to decide immediately. We have another option, to do the Hyterescopic Myomectomy. This procedure removes fibroids through the vagina. This is more invasive and time consuming for the doctor and affords patients the opportunity to remain fertile. She refer to me Doctora Margaret Joyce Cristi -Limson, she’s one of the best doctors in Makati Med who do this kind of procedure as per Dra. Bustos, and since we trust our OB we decided to do the procedure. 

When I first met Dra. Limson, she explained to me my current situation and the procedure. I like her kasi wala syang paligoy ligoy sap ag eexplain, straight to the point kung baga and di sya nag sugar-coat just to satisfy the patients. Hysterescopic Myomectomy is a procedure where a long, thin scope with light is passed through the vagina and cervix into the uterus. Submucous or intracavitary myomas are easily visualized and be resected or removed using a wire loop but only fibroids that are small and accessible through the cavity can be treated this way, according to Dra. Limson. Good thing in this technique no incision is needed and the procedure itself will last for about 1.5 hours. You have also minimal need for recovery which is generally 1 week.  

My schedule is November 8, Friday since she’s already fully booked the whole week. Imagine, ganon kadami yung patients nya na may myoma and mag undergo ng procedure. Tsk Tsk. #MyomaSucks talaga. By 7am, they wheeled me at the Delivery room where I met my Anesthesiologist, Dra. Maria Vanessa Cristi – sister of Dra. Limson. She’s super nice, mukhang bata and she explained to me everything. After short interview, I fell asleep immediately. The last thing I remember is that I asked her “NIlalagyan nyo na po ba ako ng Anesthesia?” Haha. 

By 11:30am, I woke up inside recovery room. Thank God, the procedure was success! Everything went very well, my OB explained to my husband what she did to me, she even show the pieces of myoma she got from me. Madami dami narin naman daw, she just stopped the procedure because my BP went high. She was confident enough na nabawasan yung fibroids ko kahit papano. Well, I need to undergo 2nd procedure after 2 – 3 months para makuha lahat yung fibroids, the maximum she can remove is 3cm within maximum of 1 hour and I have almost 6 cm fibroids. Hayz. 

Feel blessed to have friends and family during those times that I feel so down
Videocall a day before my procedure
I rest for 1 week and now I’m taking Esmya tablet or the Progesterone Receptor Modulator (This medicine is sooooo expensive, Php 8,901 for 21 days). I take this for 3 months before taking my 2nd procedure. This medicine will help shrink my fibroid and hopefully no need for 2nd procedure. Now, no more bleeding, still recuperating and I feel everything will be back in normal very soon.

After 1 week, my husband and I decided to visit NSSH (This is where we got married) to thank the Lord for my successful procedure
Sometimes God pushes us to our limits, He tests us beyond our endurance because HE has greater FAITH in us than we have in ourselves. But you know what after what happened to me, I realized that we all get tested to see if God is first in our lives and Prayer is the best armor against all.

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